Dixie Fields Festival will be Oregon-born Jackson Michelson’s first UK performance – and it’s the only chance UK country music fans will get to hear him live in this country. (So take it!) Look at the 30 year old’s tour days for the next few months and you’ll see he’s playing in Oregon, Colorado, California, Michigan as well as Tennessee. Just once in Essex UK. So many of his summer venues have a real outdoors Camp America flavour to their titles – Smoky Mountains, Lakeside, Vineyards – and he’s clearly in demand because there’s a show booked pretty well every day with some big distances involved. Maybe that makes the hop across the Atlantic to Essex not too daunting? From our point of view it makes us super-proud that it’s our festival that’s hosting his UK debut. We think the Dixie Fields family-farm setting will work well with his style of music and approach to performance.
Michelson’s music is entertaining, it’s catchy and his lyrics are usually to be sung with a smile. He’s clear that he’s out to give pleasure “My mom told me at a young age, ‘Hey, it’s called playing music, and if you’re not playing, you’re doing it wrong. So if you’re not having fun, then why are you doing it?’” You can see why he’s been chosen to open for so many of the major names in the US Country Music scene. “Some artists make the show about the artist, and my whole thing is, we’re going to make [the fans] see something that might only happen once tonight; we’re going to give them the best show we can, and connect with the audience and bring everything we have every night … We have a lot of fun.”
Megan O’Neill has taken the lead in offering to critique the young singer-songwriters at the ‘Around the Sound’ workshop on Saturday morning but as soon as Jackson Michelson heard about it he volunteered to be part of the panel (as did Nick Cantwell of Belles and Gals). The quality Michelson will be looking for is what he describes as ‘honesty’ “That’s what I have always strived to be: just an honest songwriter who can play and sing; what you see, is what you get.”
Well, Saturday July 13th is the day UK country music fans will get their opportunity to see — and more importantly hear. We can be sure Michelson will be giving us his best. “Blake Shelton taught me how to be yourself and to respect every night. Each night you play a show is a gift, and we should always give it our all. That’s the best advice and something I always remember before I play a show.”
With an approach like that we can feel sure Michelson will be back in the UK soon – but don’t miss this date: You only debut once…